A 262 Million Dollar Bet That The Stock Market Will Crash By October?


TheEconomicCollapse

A Mystery Investor Has Made A 262 Million Dollar Bet That The Stock Market Will Crash By October

by Michael Snyder

Puzzle-Public-Domain-460x242

One mystery trader has made an extremely large bet that the stock market is going to crash by October, and if he is right he could potentially make up to 262 million dollars on the deal.  Fortunes were made and lost during the great financial crisis of 2008, and the same thing will happen again the next time we see a major stock market crash.  But will that stock market crash take place before 2017 is over?  Without a doubt, we are in the midst of one of the largest stock market bubbles in U.S. history, and many prominent investors are loudly warning of an imminent stock market collapse.  It doesn’t take a genius to see that this stock market bubble is going to end very badly just like all of the other stock market bubbles throughout history have, but if you could know the precise timing that it will end you could set yourself up financially for the rest of your life.

I want to be very clear about the fact that I do not know what will or will not happen by the end of October.  But one mystery investor is extremely convinced that market volatility is going to increase over the next few months, and if he is correct he will make an astounding amount of money.  According to Business Insider, the following is how the trade was set up…

  • To fund it, the investor sold 262,000 VIX puts expiring in October, with a strike price of 12.
  • The trader then used those proceeds to buy a VIX 1×2 call spread, which involves buying 262,000 October contracts with a strike price of 15 and selling 524,000 October contracts with a strike price of 25.
  • For reference, bullish call spreads are used when a moderate rise in the underlying asset is expected. Traders buy call options at a specific strike price while selling the same number of calls of the same asset and expiration date at a higher strike.
  • In a perfect scenario, where the VIX hits but doesn’t exceed 25 before October expiration, the trader would see a whopping $262 million payout.

I will be watching to see what happens.  If this mystery investor is correct, it will essentially be like winning the lottery.

But just because he has made this wager does not mean that he has some special knowledge about what is going to happen.

For example, just look at what Ruffer LLP has been doing.  They are a $20 billion investment fund based in London, and they have been betting tens of millions of dollars on a stock market crash which has failed to materialize so far.  But even though they have lost so much money already, they continue to make extremely large bearish bets

As of earlier this week, Ruffer had spent $119 million this year betting on a stock market shock, $89 million of which had expired worthless, according to data compiled by Macro Risk Advisors. The investor has gradually amassed holdings of about 1 million VIX calls through three occasions so far in 2017, and each time a significant portion expired at a loss.

Blame a subdued VIX for the futility. The fear gauge was locked in a range of 10 to 14 for the first three months of 2017, and while it has since climbed to as high as 15.96, it has been stuck well below 14 since a single-day plunge of 26% nine days ago. Earlier this week, the index closed at its lowest level since February 2007.

But that doesn’t mean Ruffer is giving up. Already loaded up on May contracts, the firm has continued to buy cheap VIX calls expiring later in the year — wagers costing about 50 cents.

I can understand why Ruffer has been making these bets.  In a rational world, stocks would have already crashed long ago.

The only way that stock prices have been able to continue to rise is because of unprecedented intervention by global central banks.  They have been pumping trillions of dollars into the financial markets, and this has essentially completely destroyed normal market forces.  The following comes from David Stockman

The Fed and its crew of traveling central banks around the world have gutted honest price discovery entirely. They have turned global financial markets into outright gambling dens of unchecked speculation.

Central bank policies of massive quantitative easing (QE) and zero interest rates (ZIRP) have been sugar-coated in rhetoric about “stimulus”, “accommodation” and guiding economies toward optimal levels of inflation and full-employment.

The truth of the matter is far different. The combined $15 trillion of central bank balance sheet expansion since 2007 amounts to monetary fraud of epic proportions.

In the “bizarro world” that we are living in today, many companies are trading at prices that are more than 100 times earnings, and some companies are actually trading at prices that are more than 200 times earnings.

Stock prices have become completely and totally disconnected from economic reality.  As I discussed the other day, U.S. GDP has only risen at an average yearly rate of just 1.33 percent over the past 10 years, but meanwhile stock prices have been soaring into the stratosphere.

Nobody in their right mind can claim that makes any sense at all.  Just like in 2000, and just like in 2008, this absolutely ridiculous stock market bubble will have a horribly tragic ending as well.

Once again, I don’t know what the exact timing will be.  Stocks could start crashing tomorrow, but then the Swiss National Bank could swoop in and buy 4 million shares of Apple just like they did during the months of January, February and March earlier this year.

The biggest players in this ongoing charade are the global central banks.  If they decide to keep pumping trillions of dollars into global financial markets, they may be able to keep the bubble going for a little while longer.

But if at any point they decide to withdraw their artificial assistance, those that have placed huge bets against the market are going to make absolutely enormous piles of cash.


Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

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The Federal Reserve Is Setting Up Trump For A Recession, A Housing Crisis And A Stock Market Crash?


TheEconomicCollapse

How The Federal Reserve Is Setting Up Trump For A Recession, A Housing Crisis And A Stock Market Crash

By Michael Snyder

Most Americans do not understand this, but the truth is that the Federal Reserve has far more power over the U.S. economy than anyone else does, and that includes Donald Trump.  Politicians tend to get the credit or the blame for how the economy is performing, but in reality it is an unelected, unaccountable panel of central bankers that is running the show, and until something is done about the Fed our long-term economic problems will never be fixed.  For an extended analysis of this point, please see this article.  In this piece, I am going to explain why the Federal Reserve is currently setting the stage for a recession, a new housing crisis and a stock market crash, and if those things happen unfortunately it will be Donald Trump that will primarily get the blame.

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve is expected to hike interest rates, and there is even the possibility that they will call for an acceleration of future rate hikes

Economists generally believe the central bank’s median estimate will continue to call for three quarter-point rate increases both this year and in 2018. But there’s some risk that gets pushed to four as inflation nears the Fed’s annual 2% target and business confidence keeps juicing markets in anticipation of President Trump’s plan to cut taxes and regulations.

During the Obama years, the Federal Reserve pushed interest rates all the way to the floor, and this artificially boosted the economy.  In a recent article, Gail Tverberg explained how this works…

With falling interest rates, monthly payments can be lower, even if prices of homes and cars rise. Thus, more people can afford homes and cars, and factories are less expensive to build. The whole economy is boosted by increased “demand” (really increased affordability) for high-priced goods, thanks to the lower monthly payments.

Asset prices, such as home prices and farm prices, can rise because the reduced interest rate for debt makes them more affordable to more buyers. Assets that people already own tend to inflate, making them feel richer. In fact, owners of assets such as homes can borrow part of the increased equity, giving them more spendable income for other things. This is part of what happened leading up to the financial crash of 2008.

But the opposite is also true.

When interest rates rise, borrowing money becomes more expensive and economic activity slows down.

For the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates right now is absolutely insane.  According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s most recent projection, GDP growth for the first quarter of 2017 is supposed to be an anemic 1.2 percent.  Personally, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if we actually ended up with a negative number for the first quarter.

As Donald Trump has explained in detail, the U.S. economy is a complete mess right now, and we are teetering on the brink of a new recession.

So why in the world would the Fed raise rates unless they wanted to hurt Donald Trump?

Raising rates also threatens to bring on a new housing crisis.  Interest rates were raised prior to the subprime mortgage meltdown in 2007 and 2008, and now we could see history repeat itself.  When rates go higher, it becomes significantly more difficult for families to afford mortgage payments

The rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage reached its all-time low in November 2012, at just 3.31%. As of this week, it was 4.21%, and by the end of 2018, it could go as high as 5.5%, forecasts Matthew Pointon, a property economist for Capital Economics.

He points out that for a homeowner with a $250,000 mortgage fixed at 3.8%, annual payments are $14,000. If that homeowner moved to a similarly-priced home but had a 5.5% rate, their annual payments would rise by $3,000 a year, to $17,000.

Of course stock investors do not like rising rates at all either.  Stocks tend to rise in low rate environments such as we have had for the past several years, and they tend to fall in high rate environments.

And according to CNBC, a “coming stock market correction” could be just around the corner…

Investors are in for a rude awakening about a coming stock market correction — most just don’t know it yet. No one knows when the crash will come or what will cause it — and no one can. But what’s worse for most investors is they have no clue how much they stand to lose when it inevitably happens.

“If you look at the market historically, we have had, on average, a crash about every eight to 10 years, and essentially the average loss is about 42 percent,” said Kendrick Wakeman, CEO of financial technology and investment analytics firm FinMason.

If stocks start to fall, how low could they ultimately go?

One technical analyst that has a stunning record of predicting short-term stock market declines in recent years is saying that the Dow could potentially drop “by more than 6,000 points to 14,800″

But if the technical stars collide, as one chartist predicts, the blue-chip gauge could soon plunge by more than 6,000 points to 14,800. That’s nearly 30% lower, based on Friday’s close.

Sandy Jadeja, chief market strategist at Master Trading Strategies, claims several predicted stock market crashes to his name — all of them called days, or even weeks, in advance. (He told CNBC viewers, for example, that the August 2015 “Flash Crash” was coming 18 days before it hit.) He’s also made prescient calls on gold and crude oil.

And he’s extremely concerned about what this year could bring for investors. “The timeline is rapidly approaching” for the next potential Dow meltdown, said Jadeja, who shares his techniques via workshops and seminars.

Most big stock market crashes tend to happen in the fall, and that is what I portray in my novel, but the truth is that they can literally happen at any time.  If you have not seen my recent rant about how ridiculously overvalued stocks are at this moment in history, you can find it right here.  Whether you want to call it a “crash”, a “correction”, or something else, the truth is that a major downturn is coming for stocks and the only question is when it will strike.

And when things start to get bad, most of the blame will be dumped on Trump, but it won’t primarily be his fault.

It was the Federal Reserve that created this massive financial bubble, and they will also be responsible for popping it.  Hopefully we can get the American people to understand how these things really work so that accountability for what is coming can be placed where it belongs.

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When will the great stock market crash begin?


TheTelegraph

So, when will the crash begin?

When will the huge sell-off – in both shares and bonds – convulse world markets, obliterating trillions of dollars within weeks and triggering a domino-effect collapse of banks, other financial institutions, pension funds and even governments?

When?

There is certainly a growing chorus of voices claiming the inevitability of this Armageddon. Many think it is nigh.

You know their argument: a tsunami of money has swept through the markets in pursuit of returns. But, in a world where returns have been crushed by years of central bank intervention, the outcome has been to rocket-propel the prices of everything from government bonds to property and shares.

We’re at a point where valuations of swathes of the stock market here and elsewhere are frighteningly high in comparison with long-term average measures.

The price of government bonds issued by Britain, Germany and the United States may have fallen in recent weeks, but their yields remain as negligible as a few months ago.

Sky-high valuations are in themselves worrying enough, but they come at a time when the economic outlook is uncertain at best.

The ability of many British companies to maintain dividends – arguably one of the main reasons for driving their share prices to such heights – has rarely been less secure.

So it is quite natural to give time to those who cry doom.

One is Bill Bonner, an American-based financial author and publisher, and founder of the blog The Daily Reckoning, who wrote in recent days:

“The crisis will move too fast for policymakers and investors. Stock investors will tell themselves they will get out, but when a real panic starts, it’s too late.

“A rerun of the panic of 2008 could erase $30 trillion in a few weeks. If the panic is caused by rising inflation, the bond market would be walloped, too. Our advice: panic now, before everyone else. Evacuate overpriced and dangerous assets.”

That sounds terrifying.

I get the argument, but I for one will not sell any of my share-based investments in my Isa and pension on the strength of it. Here are three reasons why.

1. When would I buy again?

Say I heed Mr Bonner and sell. Sitting in my broker accounts is then a pile of cash, earning nothing, and waiting for … what?

The graph below tells a familiar story but one worth revisiting. The danger of not being in the market is that you miss those significant, but sometimes brief, bounces.

chart

Big market movements take place in short periods. Algorithmic models have been developed to detect rising volatility as signals to get in or out at the perfect moment, but these are doubtful. The reality is that no one knows when the big up (or down) days will arrive. What we do know for certain is that not participating at all can be costly.

2. Yields on many British shares are not that low

The FTSE All Share still yields 3.5pc, a huge number, given that some government bonds yield less than nothing. While share prices as multiples of earnings (p/e ratios) may have shot up alarmingly in some sectors, that’s not the case across the whole market.

Our big dividend payers – such as oil and pharmaceuticals – suffered earlier this year because of doubts about their ability to pay dividends. They’ve mostly reiterated their dividend commitments since, yet still don’t trade on the scariest multiples.

Company boards can, of course, be committed to dividends yet still unable to deliver: but markets and commentators are notorious for predicting recessions and other disasters that do not materialise.

3. Yield isn’t everything, anyway

Most investors, like me, own in the end tiny stakes in multiple companies, many of which are healthy, growing enterprises whose operations won’t screech to a halt just because share prices bomb. As veteran investor Terry Smith writes, why else invest?

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Warren Buffett Is Out Of The Casino


TDV

Jeff Berwick

Warren Buffett Is the Latest Billionaire To Jump Ship From The Markets

Right now the market is perceived to be so dangerous that it’s even chased the most fearless value investors to the sidelines.

Just this evening, in the Presidential debate, Trump warned that the stock market was a bubble “about to pop”.

Now, the bearish billionaire circle has grown even wider with the addition of Warren Buffett.

The “Oracle of Omaha” as he’s known, currently has more money outside the markets than ever before in his five decades running Berkshire-Hathaway.

buffetscashholdings

This is a striking fact considering that Buffett is very well known for his long-term investment strategy – an approach that requires one to constantly have most of their capital tied up in order to generate consistent returns.

That’s right, as the S&P 500 is near record highs, Warren Buffet is more out of the market than he has ever been and waiting for a collapse.

That the 86 year old has so much dry powder, shows his anticipation of a massive market crisis and quite possibly the biggest buying opportunity of his life. Just like us, Buffet is ready to survive and prosper through this calamity.

And with asset prices at all time highs and CNBC and Fox business puppets still perpetuating the great recovery myth, you might expect all these smart money billionaires to be piling into stocks to ride the upside. Instead they obviously know the “goldilocks” recovery holds true to its name’s fairytale origin.

They say “follow the smart money”… and Buffett is known as one of the smartest!

And even more multi-billion dollar fund managers are coming out and warning.

Tad Rivelle, the chief investment officer of TCW’s $195 billion investment fund, is yet another outspoken multi-billion dollar fund manager who’s expressed concern about the economy and monetary policy gone awry.

Rivelle mentioned in a Bloomberg interview last week that he thinks it’s “Time to leave the dance floor” because, to paraphrase, corporate debt is piling up faster than income is increasing.

In a note to investors Rivelle argued, “Face it: the central banking Emperors have no clothes.” he continued:

“…The Fed could continue to use its printing press to falsify capital market signals, but to what end? When a central bank buys an asset with an electronically printed dollar, a “something for nothing” trade has taken place. Unless everything we understand about economics is plain wrong, the Fed cannot go on blithely adding printing press dollars to the system and expect no ill effects.”

The letter continues:

“Our counsel remains as it has been: avoid those assets that will be broken in the coming de-leveraging while keeping a ‘steady as she goes’ attitude towards the future purchase of those assets that will merely bend when the flood comes.”  

He actually called the coming de-leveraging, “the flood”. Even the language of these top money people is biblical in nature.

When we first began ringing the alarm bells about an impending financial crisis last summer, we were nearly the only ones doing it.  Then, month after month, some of the biggest names in money and finance have not only climbed aboard our bandwagon, but have practically stampeded past us.

Now, we can barely keep up with the amount of people warning of impending doom.

Last summer we made a call for subscribers that earned 4,500% in just three days by calling the market crash in late August correctly.

And, our Senior Market Analyst, Ed Bugos, has just reissued a very similar play in an alert to Premium subscribers on September 16th.

There is no guarantee we’ll make another 4,500% gain in a short amount of time, of course.  But it is virtually the exact same investment play we made last summer which made a fortune.

And, that was before we had the likes of Soros, Trump, Rothschild, Jim Rogers and numerous other billionaires, also feeling the same way as us.

We are now less than a week away from the end of the Jubilee Year and if our call is right, we could again make mind boggling returns in just the next few weeks or months.

And, the best part about this type of an out-of-the-money shot is that you can put a small amount of money into it and possibly make large returns… and if it is wrong, you lose just a small amount of money.

Subscribe to TDV Premium and get immediate access to Ed Bugos’ pick in his alert of September 16th.

If the ship’s going down, and soon, it’ll be much more enjoyable making a massive investment return off of it than going down with everyone else.

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Alan Greenspan Warns: There Will Be a “Significant Market Event… Something Big Is Going To Happen”


YOU WERE RIGHT ABOUT GREENSPAN BIX!!

Most of you know that I have been analyzing “how we got here” for over a decade and have discovered irrefutable evidence that Alan Greenspan was charged with destroying the unbacked fiat monetary system and taking down the banking cabal starting all the way back in the early 1960’s. Ultimately, it will lead us back to a true and honest Gold Standard. That is what the Road to Roota Theory is all about.

Greenspan IS Roota!

Those who have no idea what I’m talking about can either read my hundreds of articles I have written on the subject or just read this single testimony from the man himself… Bix Weir


 

SHFT

GreenspanWith the Federal Reserve printing trillions upon trillions of dollars to keep the economic system afloat, many investors and financial pundits have surmised that the fundamental economic problems facing the United States during the crash of 2008 have been resolved. Stocks are, after all, at historic highs.

But the insiders know different. And if there’s any single person out there who understands U.S. monetary policy and its long-term effects on domestic and global affairs it’s former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan. As the head of the world’s most powerful central bank for nearly two decades he’s privy to the insider conversations and government machinations that have brought us to where we are today.

Greenspan recently joined veteran resource analyst Brien Lundin at the New Orleans Investment Conference to share some of his thoughts. According to Lundin, the former Fed chairman made it clear that the central bank is facing a serious problem and one that will have significant ramifications in the future.

We asked him where he thought the gold price will be in five years and he said “measurably higher.”

In private conversation I asked him about the outstanding debts… and that the debt load in the U.S. had gotten so great that there has to be some monetary depreciation. Specially he said that the era of quantitative easing and zero-interest rate policies by the Fed… we really cannot exit this without some significant market event… By that I interpret it being either a stock market crash or a prolonged recession, which would then engender another round of monetary reflation by the Fed.

He thinks something big is going to happen that we can’t get out of this era of money printing without some repercussions – and pretty severe ones – that gold will benefit from.

Watch the full interview:

(Watch at Future Money Trends)

If we are in fact staring a major market event in the face as Alan Greenspan proposes then wealth preservation should be a key tenet of any preparedness strategy going forward. Greenspan himself, somewhat ironically, was a gold bug and proponent of sound money prior to his appointment as the chairman of the Fed. And though he didn’t discuss it much during his tenure, he is now actively saying that we can expect to see gold markedly higher within the next five years.

His assessment is likely based on concerns over the U.S. dollar which will, as Lundin notes, more than likely suffer a currency devaluation at some point in the future.

The end has to come at some point… If you look at a chart of the U.S. dollar index it has gone nearly parabolic in the last few months… In any market that is so one sided, that is accelerating so rapidly, that trend will end… it will most likely end in a fairly violent fashion.

And if gold rises as a result, so too will other resource assets in the energy and mining sectors. What it boils down to is that the assets that are necessary to keep our system operating will always have value, and that is especially true in a situation where the U.S. dollar happens to be crashing. Uranium , for example, powers one in five American homes, which means that it will always be a necessary resource, regardless of what the dollar does or doesn’t do. Lundin’s assessment is echoed by Uranium Energy Corp CEO Amir Adnani, who recently said we may well see a “resurgence” in the price of this and natural resources like gold.

The same can be said for oil and agriculture resources.

They will always have value, regardless of whether the dollar is strong or violently collapses under its own weight.

Thus, when we consider ways to preserve wealth and insulate ourselves from the coming destruction of our currency one must consider holding physical assets. For some that means stockpiling food and other supplies in anticipation of Greenspan’s market event that could adversely affect credit flows and delivery of essential goods. For others who may currently hold stocks, U.S. Treasurys, or cash, diversifying your portfolio with well managed resource-based companies will not only preserve wealth during currency volatility, but build it as the value of real, physical assets rises.

The man who is essentially the architect responsible for domestic monetary policy under four U.S. Presidents has now said that a significant market event will take place when the Fed is eventually forced to exit their monetary easing and zero-interest rate policies.

Are you prepared for that day?

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Know why the market has not crashed… yet?


Contra Corner

There Is A Plunge Protection Team – It’s Called The FOMC

By Howard R. Gold at MarketWatch

Things were looking grim last week, especially on Wednesday, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at one point down by 460.

The CBOE VIX indicator soared to the mid-20s for the first time in two years. Fear was palpable as investors had a classic panic attack.

But then, like the cavalry in those classic John Ford westerns, the Federal Reserve rode to the rescue.

James Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, said inflation far below its 2% target could lead the Fed to “go on pause on the taper … and wait until we see how the data shakes out into December.” The Fed is on track to finish “tapering” its extraordinary bond buying, or quantitative easing (QE3), at next week’s meeting.

‘They are afraid of the [stock] market going down and they will be blamed.’

James Bianco, president of Bianco Research 
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But, he added: “If the market is right and it’s portending something more serious for the U.S. economy, then the committee would have an option of ramping up QE [in December].”Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren later said QE3 should end next week, but he could “easily imagine” not raising rates until 2016.

Translation: We’ve got your back. Don’t fight the Fed.

Investors got the message. The S&P 500 Index advanced for three straight days and the VIX fell under 20 again.

Bullard was only the latest Fed official whose words or actions “just happened” to boost the stock market when it was down.

“They are definitely in the market-manipulation business, and nothing has changed,” said James Bianco, president of Bianco Research LLC in Chicago and a longtime student, and critic, of the Fed.

Called the “Greenspan/Bernanke put,” the Fed’s willingness to jump in when stocks fall dates back a quarter-century.

“The put option is back. If the market sells off enough, they will give us QE4,” Bianco told me.

Conspiracy theorists have pinned it on a government “Plunge Protection Team” that wants to keep stocks from crashing at all costs.

nyse

New York Post – ‘Plunge protection’ behind market’s sudden recovery – click to read

But conspiracy or no, consider these actions:

Aug. 31, 2012: In his annual speech in Jackson Hole, Wyo., Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke all but announced the third round of QE, extraordinary bond buying of $85 billion a month. The S&P 500, which had languished after a nearly 10% decline, rallied from 1,399 points and hasn’t corrected substantially until now.

Sept. 22, 2011: Following a 19.4% stock sell-off amid a debt crisis in Europe and the U.S., the Fed launched Operation Twist, in which it sold short-term and bought long-term securities to push down long rates. After first slipping, the S&P 500 resumed a multiyear take-off that, with a little help from the Fed, ultimately drove it 80% higher.

Aug. 27, 2010: In another famous Jackson Hole speech, Bernanke vowed the Fed would “do all that it can” and would “provide additional monetary accommodation through unconventional measures if … necessary.” After a 16% correction in the S&P 500, the Fed’s purchase of $600 billion in securities through QE2 would help push stocks 22.8% higher, according to Bianco Research.

Nov. 25, 2008: In the heat of the financial crisis, Bernanke announced the Fed’s first bond-buying program in which it wound up purchasing $1.7 trillion worth of securities. QE helped launch the new bull market and drove the S&P 500 up 50%.

“Three times they put down markers they were going to end QE,” Bianco said. “In all three cases — 20%, 17%, 10% down in the stock market — they reversed.”

As this terrific chart shows, Bianco Research estimates that during all the QEs, stocks rose by 147.5%. Subtracting periods of QE, they lost 27.5%.

Bianco Research LLC

Back in the fall of 1998, Alan Greenspan cut rates three times during the Asian/Russian financial crisis and after the bailout of Long-Term Capital Management. That set the stage for the 1990s bull market’s final blow-out phase.

And after the 1987 stock market crash, when the Dow fell 22.6% in a single day, Greenspan’s Fed bought $17 billion worth of bonds (a lot in those days) and declared the central bank ready “to serve as a source of liquidity to support the economic and financial system.” The panic eased and the bull continued for years.

As in 1987, the specter of 1929 still haunts the Fed. “They are afraid of the market going down and they will be blamed,” explained Bianco. If that means “guiding” the stock market, so be it.

Problem is, Congress gave the Fed a mandate to “promote maximum employment, production, and price stability”; it never explicitly authorized propping up stocks. Yet through a remarkable theoretical stretch called the “wealth effect,” that’s exactly what the Fed is doing.

Don’t get me wrong: This bull market reflects a genuine, albeit below-normal, recovery, and the U.S. is much stronger than the rest of the world. The Fed helped by giving the economy time and breathing room.

But the emergency is over and once accumulated, power is not easily shed. If this pattern continues, the U.S. economy and markets will never stand on their own feet again.

This may be the ultimate test for Janet Yellen and could determine whether she’s remembered as a great Fed chair or just another caretaker of a dead-end course if there ever was one.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-most-successful-market-timers-the-federal-reserve-2014-10-22?page=2

Howard R. Gold is a MarketWatch columnist and founder and editor of GoldenEgg Investing, which offers simple, low-cost, low-risk retirement investing plans. Follow him on Twitter @howardrgold.

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